Stock futures trade mixed ahead of jobless claims

Investors are looking ahead to Friday's payroll data

U.S. equity futures are trading mixed ahead of the release of another labor-related report leading to Friday's June employment report.

The major futures indexes suggest a rise of 0.1% on the Dow when trading begins on Wall Street.

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The Labor Department is out with its tally of new claims for unemployment benefits for last week. Expectations are for 390,000, down from 411,000 claims the prior week. 

The U.S. economy added 692,000 private-sector jobs in June, a decline from the downwardly revised 886,000 jobs gained in May, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the addition of 600,000 jobs.

PRIVATE PAYROLLS RISE BY 692,000 IN JUNE, DOWN FROM PRIOR MONTH

Investors are waiting for the government’s monthly jobs report due out Friday.

On Friday, the Labor Department is expected to say the U.S. economy added 706,000 jobs in June as the unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, according to a Refinitiv poll of economists. The economy gained 559,000 jobs last month with the unemployment rate falling to 5.8%. 

Besides jobless claims, the other big number to watch Thursday morning will be the ISM’s manufacturing purchasing managers index for June. It’s expected to edge down to 61.0 from 61.2 in May. For context, March’s reading of 64.7 marked the fastest pace of expansion in more than 37 years. A number above 50 signals an expanding manufacturing sector.

Also watch for construction spending to increase 0.4% in May following April’s 0.2% pop.

In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.7%, Germany's DAX gained 0.3% and France's CAC rose 0.4%.

 In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3% and China's Shanghai Composite was off 0.1%.

Trading was closed in Hong Kong for the anniversary of the handover of the former British colony to Beijing.

The Bank of Japan's quarterly "tankan" survey showed continuous recovery, with large manufacturers' sentiment remaining largely positive despite the pandemic.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 32120.28 +191.66 +0.60%
SP500 S&P 500 3978.73 +37.25 +0.95%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 11434.740655 +170.29 +1.51%

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 edged up 0.1%, bringing its advance over the past three months to 8.2% and 14.4% for the first half of the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.6% to 34,502.51. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.2% to 14,503.95. 

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In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.38 to $74.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 49 cents to $73.47 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained $1.23 to $75.85 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.